Center for American Progress Finds How Much Each State Pays For Child Care

According to the Center for American Progress, child care is too damn high.

NIEER

The Center for American Progress released its annual “Early Learning in the United States” report, which takes a deep dive into the cost and effectiveness of child care for each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. The report is packed with new insights into child care, but perhaps the most interesting was the report’s revelations about the state-by-state cost. The report listed each state’s annual cost of child care for a family raising an infant and a 4-year-old and then calculated what percentage that was of the median family income for that state. Here are how the 50 states ranked from lowest percentage to highest.

mother and child in childcare

51. Louisiana
Annual Cost: $10,674 (19 percent of median income for families with children)

50. South Dakota
Annual Cost: $11,935 (19 percent of median income for families with children)

49. Alabama
Annual cost: $10,521 (20 percent of median income for families with children)

48. South Carolina
Annual Cost: $11,140 (20 percent of median income for families with children)

47. Mississippi
Annual Cost: $9,484
21 percent of median income for families with children

46. North Dakota
Annual Cost: $16,061 (21 percent of median income for families with children)

45. Arkansas
Annual Cost $11,131 (22 percent of median income for families with children)

44. Oklahoma
Annual Cost: $11,852 (22 percent of median income for families with children)

43. New Jersey
Annual Cost: $21,105 (23 percent of median income for families with children)

42. Utah
Annual Cost: $16,350 (23 percent of median income for families with children)

41. Wyoming
Annual Cost: $16,951 (23 percent of median income for families with children)

40. Idaho
Annual Cost: $13,912 (24 percent of median income for families with children)

39. Georgia
Annual Cost: $14,448 (25 percent of median income for families with children)

38. Missouri
Annual Cost: $15,496 (25 percent of median income for families with children)

37. Nebraska
Annual Cost: $16,978 (25 percent of median income for families with children)

36. Delaware
Annual Cost: $18,704 (26 percent of median income for families with children)

35. Indiana
Annual Cost: $15,697 (26 percent of median income for families with children)

34. New Hampshire
Annual Cost: $22,658 (26 percent of median income for families with children)

33. Ohio
Annual Cost: $16,305 (26 percent of median income for families with children)

32. Iowa
Annual Cost: $18,448 (27 percent of median income for families with children)

31. Virginia
Annual Cost: $21,476 (27 percent of median income for families with children)

30. Montana
Annual Cost: $17,682 (27 percent of median income for families with children)

29. Kentucky
Annual Cost: $14,820 (28 percent of median income for families with children)

28. Maryland
Annual Cost: $24,765 (28 percent of median income for families with children)

27. Texas
Annual Cost: $17,020 (28 percent of median income for families with children)

26. Connecticut
Annual Cost: $25,748 (29 percent of median income for families with children)

25. Vermont
Annual Cost: $21,953 (29 percent of median income for families with children)

child in childcare center

24. Alaska
Annual Cost: $22,464 (30 percent of median income for families with children)

23. Florida
Annual Cost: $15,616 (30 percent of median income for families with children)

22. Kansas
Annual Cost: $19,547 (30 percent of median income for families with children)

21. Maine
Annual Cost: $18,132 (30 percent of median income for families with children)

20. Michigan
Annual Cost: $18,416 (30 percent of median income for families with children)

19. New Mexico
Annual Cost: $14,970 (30 percent of median income for families with children)

18. Pennsylvania
Annual Cost: $21,097 (30 percent of median income for families with children)

17. Tennessee
Annual Cost: $15,491 (30 percent of median income for families with children)

16. West Virginia
Annual Cost: $16,120 (30 percent of median income for families with children)

15. Wisconsin
Annual Cost: $21,348 (30 percent of median income for families with children)

14. North Carolina
Annual Cost: $17,174 (31 percent of median income for families with children)

13. Arizona
Annual Cost: $17,838 (32 percent of median income for families with children)

12. Hawaii
Annual Cost: $24,816 (32 percent of median income for families with children)

11. Massachusetts
Annual Cost: $29,878 (32 percent of median income for families with children)

10. Washington
Annual Cost: $22,997 (32 percent of median income for families with children)

9. Illinois
Annual Cost: $22,934 (33 percent of median income for families with children)

8. Minnesota
Annual Cost: $26,246 (33 percent of median income for families with children)

7. Rhode Island
Annual Cost: $22,934 (33 percent of median income for families with children)

6. California
Annual Cost: $22,460 (34 percent of median income for families with children)

5. Colorado
Annual Cost: $26,093 (34 percent of median income for families with children)

4. Nevada
Annual Cost: $19,085 (34 percent of median income for families with children)

3. Oregon
Annual Cost: $21,072 (34 percent of median income for families with children)

2. New York
Annual Cost: $25,844 (38 percent of median income for families with children)

1. District of Columbia
Annual Cost: $40,521 (51 percent of median income for families with children)

Easily the most shocking information from the report is that a family with two children will be forced to pay more than half of the median family income each year on child care. Overall, families of four in 24 of the 51 states and districts are paying at least 30 percent of the median family income in their state on child care, with only Louisiana and South Dakota paying less than 20 percent.

When it comes to affordable child care, apparently nobody can hold a candle to the southern states. Of the top ten most affordable states for child care, seven were from the south. The south typically falls behind other states when it comes to issues like education and childhood happiness. So how are they apparently so successful when it comes to providing affordable child care solutions? It could be a reflection of the quality of the child care, as southern states often put fewer resources into such programs.

Child care is essential to families, especially when both parents are working. And, in addition to offering some much-needed balance and stability, it has numerous benefits on young children in terms of social and emotional growth. Hopefully, in the future, there’s a way to give families great child care without forcing them to spend more time away from home to afford it.

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